Everybody’s talking about the weather …
Burt's Eye View
One of the greatest quotes ever uttered about life in northeast Ohio is this: “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.”
Never has a philosophical platitude proved to be so true. And perplexing.
I am writing this column two hours after my wife and I took a lovely spring walk on Thursday. Friday, the forecast called for a summery 70 degrees. But by the time these words roll off the presses Sunday, snow again will blanket the ground. It is still February in northeast Ohio, after all.
As I pawed through my closet trying to figure out what to wear (Flannel shirt? Shorts? Ear muffs? Baseball cap? Long johns? All of the above?), I pondered the collected wit and wisdom whining about weather. So I gave up trying to dress for it and settled in for a bit of rainy day (no, wait, the rain was yesterday) research about weather.
As it turns out, pretty much EVERY city around the world lays claim to the “wait five minutes” maxim about the unpredictability of the local weather. We all seem to think Mother Nature’s mood swings befuddle only us.
A meme snowballing through social media declares, “Winter is coming. Wait, no, it’s warm again. Oh, now it’s cold! Wait, warm again …”
Here’s another common adage: “Welcome to the land where you can get sunburn and frostbite in the same week.”
One of the classic climate complaints came from the great philosopher Mark Twain during a speech in 1876.
“I reverently believe that the Maker who made us all makes everything in New England but the weather. I don’t know who makes that, but I think it must be raw apprentices in the weather-clerk’s factory who experiment and learn how, in New England, for board and clothes, and then are promoted to make weather for countries that require a good article, and will take their custom elsewhere if they don’t get it. … In the spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.”
New England? This rant works pretty much every place I’ve lived.
Here are a few of the aphorisms, axioms and truisms uttered about the weather:
“Dear beautiful spring weather, I miss you. Was it something I said?” — “Skipper” Kim Corbin
“Cold! If the thermometer had been an inch longer we’d have frozen to death.” — Mark Twain
“I like these cold, gray winter days. Days like these let you savor a bad mood.” — Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes)
“I played as much golf as I could in North Dakota, but summer up there is pretty short. It usually falls on Tuesday.” — Mike Morely
“On cable TV, they have a weather channel — 24 hours of weather. We had something like that where I grew up. We called it a window.” — Dan Spencer
“There is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.” — John Ruskin
“Climate is what we expect; weather is what we get.” — Mark Twain
“Don’t knock the weather; nine-tenths of the people couldn’t start a conversation if it didn’t change once in a while.” — Kin Hubbard
“Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.”— Charles Dudley Warner
“The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.” — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
So enjoy the rain. Or the snow, fog, sunshine or whatever it’s doing at the moment. It’s the weather, whether wished for or not.
Talk the forecast with Cole at firstname.lastname@example.org or on the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook.